Unlimited Creepiness? Google Patent Wants to Read Your Feelings

Google_Glass_detailLeave it to Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) to take creepiness to a whole new level. The Mountain View, California-based company’s Glass technology, has been the subject of many headlines as of late. Many of those news stories revolve around the privacy and safety concerns that critics charge the wearable-computers with posing.

Thus far, many have only speculated over the privacy prodding that Google Glass presents for those not wearing the technology and rather, those just in its line of fire. However, now, the question of privacy revolves around the wearer themselves and what information Google can source from their movements.

Mashable highlights the recent acquisition of a new patent by Google that analysts believe will eventually facilitate “pay-per-gaze” advertising. The patent is purposed to allow advertisers to chart the number of views a certain ad receives by users wearing Glass, both online and offline, which will then help Google charge advertisers for the number of times a user looks at their specific ad and for how long.

Still, to be fair, the patent doesn’t explicitly mention the Glass technology, but it does state that it requires a “head mounted gaze tracking device” as well as other descriptions that fit Google Glass almost to a T, leading analysts to predict that the new technology is ultimately destined to be in line with future Google Glass plans.

By now you might be confused. Didn’t Google recently report that advertising wouldn’t be inserted into its new Glass product? It did — and that is why all “pay-per-gaze” advertising talks are still indicative of plans that could take place in the future, rather than those that are quickly being erected for the currently nascent Google Glass.

Unfortunately, though, the patent succeeds in offering insight on what the future of advertising may look like in terms of what information advertisers can source from what ads consumers are looking at, how long they stare at them, and even what feelings are emitted on account of them.

Mashable’s Chief Strategy Officer Adam Ostrow spoke Friday on Bloomberg Television about what this technology means for the future world of advertising — and even explained how Google Glass could ultimately use our gazes to infer what ads should be thrown our way, including what emotional state to expect from us.

The new patent that he references details how a device like Google Glass could acquire a user’s emotional response to an ad — whether it be happy, sad or indifferent — and then adjust the ad’s pricing accordingly. This thus allows advertisers to expect certain emotional responses to certain ads and helps Google charge those advertisers accordingly.

Scary? Yes. The reality of the future? Maybe, but luckily, a patent doesn’t guarantee success or even implementation and Google could still have some privacy barriers to go up against once it works to employ this new technology.

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